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Denver resumes discharging migrant families with children from shelters

About 150 migrants were discharged from city-run shelters on Monday
Migrants processed in Denver
Posted at 10:06 PM, Feb 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-06 00:06:37-05

DENVER — About 150 migrants were expected to leave shelters Monday after the City and County of Denver resumed discharging families with children from city-run facilities, part of the city's efforts to deal with the continuing influx of migrants from the southern border.

“Pretty much everyone has received some kind of accommodation toward housing or something along those lines,” said Jon Ewing, a spokesperson with the Denver Department of Human Services.

About 50 to 60 people are expected to be discharged each day for the next couple of months, according to Ewing. He said the city is working with its partners, including nonprofits, to find migrant families alternative living arrangements.

“We're doing everything possible. We're working as hard as we can to make sure that people are getting into a better situation and not going back onto the streets,” said Ewing. “We don't believe that camping is a viable solution. Not only is it against the law to camp in the city of Denver, but it's also dangerous. It's unsafe.”

The city paused the discharge of migrant families in November due to cold weather. Since then, thousands more migrants have arrived and there’s very little room left in the shelters, city officials said.

“The main thing was, we were at capacity,” said Ewing.

As of Monday, about 3,813 migrants were staying at city-run shelters — about 36% fewer than what Denver saw during the peak of the latest wave in mid-January, according to a city dashboard.

Ewing said discharges for individuals (migrants without families) were never paused, except during severe weather emergencies.

The city also updated its length-of-stay policy, extending the length of time newly arrived families can stay in shelters to 42 days, or six weeks.

For migrants without children, the shelter stay limit remains at 14 days.

Denver resumes discharging migrant families with children from shelters